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Arsenal 'open contract talks with key defender'

Arsenal 'open contract talks with key defender'
© Reuters
Arsenal are reportedly in negotiations to extend Gabriel Magalhaes's current contract beyond the summer of 2026.

Arsenal have reportedly opened talks with Gabriel Magalhaes over a new contract.

The Gunners may be currently focused on their Premier League title bid, but they have made a conscious effort to look to the future in recent times.

Arsenal's board have tied down several key players to new contracts over the last 18 months, including Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba.

Last month, full-back Ben White became the most recent member of the Arsenal squad to agree a new deal, signing a new long-term contract until the summer of 2028 with an option to extend by a further 12 months.

Arsenal's Gabriel Magalhaes pictured in March 2024© Reuters

Arsenal hold contract negotiations with Gabriel

According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners are now turning their attention to securing the long-term future of Gabriel.

The report claims that Arsenal have held preliminary talks with the Brazilian over extending his stay in North London.

Gabriel still has over two years left to run on his current deal after signing a new Arsenal contract in October 2022.

While there is no need to rush negotiations, Arsenal are willing to offer Gabriel improved terms as a reward for his impressive performances this season.

Arsenal's Gabriel Magalhaes celebrates scoring their third goal on February 10, 2024© Reuters

Key member of Arteta's side

Gabriel has proven to be a key figure in Arsenal's title bid, having built a formidable central-defensive partnership with Saliba.

The 26-year-old has started 30 of his 32 top-flight appearances this season, including each of Arsenal's last 20 Premier League matches.

Gabriel has helped Mikel Arteta's side keep 16 Premier League clean sheets this term – six more than Manchester City and seven more than Liverpool.

Arsenal's strong backline has helped them move to the top of the table, with a three-point gap to Liverpool in third position and a two-point advantage over second-placed Man City, who have a game in hand.

Gabriel and Arsenal will look to claim a seventh consecutive away league clean sheet when they face local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday's North London derby.

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